Are you tired of paying an enormous amount on flights? Good news! Travel hacking could be the solution to all your travel woes. It’s a fun way to convert credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives into miles that can then be used to score discounted or free flights to your desired destinations. With a little bit of creativity and some insider knowledge, you can travel for free within a matter of minutes.
The Basics of Travel Hacking
Travel hacking is all about exchanging credit card sign-up bonuses and incentives for airline miles. The miles can be used to pay for discount or no-cost flights. Certain credit cards will also let you redeem miles towards hotel stays or rental car offers.
How Does it Work?
The key to success in hacking travel is taking advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and building out frequent flyer miles on a select group of airlines. When you are ready to book a flight, evaluate the cost. If the cost is less than $300, it’s best to pay in cash and save your miles for a more expensive flight. If the prices start to rise higher than $500, it’s best to check the frequent flyer account to determine which airline offers you the most value. It all comes down to the amount of points or miles in your travel account for each airline.
Begin by Getting Started with Travel Hacking
Are you ready to discover the secrets of travel hacking? First step to open an account with a sign-up offer. There are many great credit cards with many benefits and features. It is all dependent on the airline, your habits with spending and what features are important to you.
Top Credit Card Picks
Here are some credit card options that can be excellent to use for hacking travel:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase United Explorer
- JetBlue Mastercard
- Capital One Venture X
If you’ve been approved for a credit or debit card, you’ll need to reach the minimum spend limit in order to get the bonus. Every card has different guidelines, so make certain to verify this information. Then you can begin to rack up miles and then using them to book your dream trip!
Are you ready to set sail with your goals?
After you’ve accrued your points balance, it’s time to cash them in for some sweet travel! Different credit card providers will have different methods for redeeming your points, but here are some examples from some of the companies I have experience with:
Escape by using Chase Ultimate Rewards
If you have an Chase credit card, then you are able to redeem your points via the Ultimate Rewards portal. Within this portal you’ll have access to almost every airline and you can make use of a combination of money and points to pay for your travel. You can book your flight entirely using points if you’ve got the balance for it! Sometimes even if you do not possess enough points for the total cost, you still can purchase flights through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay the balance in cash using any credit card.
Are you tired of paying full price for your flights? Did you realize that when booking directly through United, you have the option of paying with either points or dollars? But, be careful in case you don’t have enough points, you can’t combine points and dollars for one flight. If you’re just a few point short United also offers the option to purchase additional miles.
Looking for a flight within the United States? You should look no further than JetBlue! JetBlue offers a comfortable and enjoyable flight experience with extra legroom as well as free snacks. In addition, their booking procedure is similar to United’s which allows customers to book using either JetBlue dollar or points however, not both. The difference is that JetBlue has a unique feature where you can join your points with your relatives to earn points twice as fast. Be sure to establish that you’re a real family member prior to trying to hack the system.
Make sure you spend that minimum amount
If you’re like me and my travel companion Becca You’re probably quite frugal and it can be daunting to try to spend thousands of dollars to reach the minimum spend for credit card bonuses. Don’t worry, we’ve been through it and are here to share our tips and tricks.
Pay your rent (if you can)
This is a big one! If you’re able pay your rent with credit card, then do it! Be prepared to be charged a fee, typically at least 3%. It may be worth it over the long term if the bonus is high enough.
Pay for a medical bill
Another way to reach the required spending is to pay for a medical bill. If you do not have any medical expenses in the near future then ask your family members if you can pay for theirs and they can pay you back.
Pay off the loan
If you have any loans, consider repaying them using your credit card. Be sure to pay off the balance on your credit card in full , so that you don’t accumulate additional debt.
Ask your family members for help
Ask your family members to determine if they’ve got any large expenses coming up that you can help pay for. Just make sure you are able to trust the person and that they understand why you’re doing it.
If you’re celebrating the holidays you should consider purchasing all of your gifts with your credit card. This way you can reach the minimum spending requirement and also be prepared for giving gifts. Just make sure you’re not paying more than you already thinking of.
There are many methods to get the most from the travel credit card and accumulate miles or points that you can be used towards the cost of flights or other expenses related to travel. Here are a few more ways to maximize your rewards:
Pay for travel expenses using your credit card
When you’re planning your next trip, make use of the travel credit card to book your hotel, flight, rental car, and any other travel expenses. Not only will you achieve the minimum amount of spending required to qualify for a credit card bonus and earn points, but you’ll also be earning points or miles on the expenditures.
Use your credit card for everyday costs
Another method to reach the minimum spending requirement and earn points is by making use of your credit card to pay for every day expenses. This could include things like gas, groceries, and even your phone bill. Be sure to pay the balance off in full each month so you don’t pay interest.
Make the most of bonus categories
A lot of travel credit cards provide miles or bonus points on certain kinds of purchases, like eating out or travelling. Check out your credit card’s rewards program and avail any bonus categories that align with your spending habits.
Take into consideration the possibility of transferring your balance
If you have existing outstanding debt due to a high-interest credit card, think about transferring that balance to an account with a travel credit card that has an introductory rate of 0% for balance transfers. This will allow you to pay off the debt without accruing interest. It will also assist you in reaching the minimum spending requirement for the credit card’s bonus.
Make use of your miles or points wisely
If you’ve amassed a large amount of points or miles Make sure to utilize them in a responsible manner. Examine the rewards program of your credit card, and evaluate the worth of various redemption options. For example, using points to book a flight directly with the airline might offer better return than using them for an gift card.
Another option is to get rewards cards that allow you to transfer your points to other loyalty programs. This will allow you to get a wider selection of options and greater flexibility when you want to redeem your rewards. For instance, you might be eligible to transfer your rewards to frequent flyer programs of airlines or reward program for hotels. This will give you access to a wider variety of hotels, flights, and other travel perks that aren’t accessible through the rewards program of your credit card.
Also, determine the card’s benefits. some perks that could save you money on travel-related costs. Many cards offer travel insurance, rental car insurance, baggage protection, and other benefits that can be extremely valuable when you’re traveling.
Finally, when you’re traveling with someone else, both of you can earn rewards with your credit card. Be aware that you cannot divide the cost with the same card. Also, make sure you keep track of your rewards in a separate manner.
In the end, the most important thing to do to maximizing your travel rewards is to know your credit card’s rewards program and make sure you’re making use of it in the most effective method possible. By using all of the strategies I’ve listed in this article, you’ll be able earn rewards quickly, redeem rewards for valuable travel experiences, and enjoy a wide assortment of travel-related perks.